The Emphasis of the Evangelisic Council
Some have asked why, in the recent Evangelistic Council, heavy emphasis was not placed on lay evangelism, which is to have such a vital place in these last days, or on the "right arm" of the message that is destined to play such a large part in the final program. The answer is that one great burden rested upon the hearts of those charged with arranging the agenda ; one single objective was ever before them—to redirect ministerial attention and effort from hovering over the churches to direct evangelism for the unsaved.
The guiding purpose was to start in motion forces that would so streamline all our efforts, denominationally, that the bulk of our energy would not be largely consumed in keeping the machinery turning, but rather in driving forward in the great evangelism program that God clearly expects from His remnant witness. It was to bring before all the vision of God's expectation for us now to arise and finish our commissioned task, bending every major effort to that end. That this goal of redirection of attention and emphasis was achieved to a substantial degree is the witness of hundreds, and is attested by the adopted recommendations on evangelism of the conference.
That this major objective would have been jeopardized had our efforts been scattered, by bringing in all necessary and desirable parts of the basic program of evangelism, is likewise apparent—especially if in the ensuing discussion disproportionate emphasis had been given to particular aspects, or if extreme positions on the relationship of parts to the whole had been advocated. As it is, we now stand united upon a great, clear program of advance. Surely this is of supreme value. We can now all build together, part working with part, and principle co-ordinating with principle. But confusion and friction would surely have ensued if the various parts or departmental objectives had been thrust forward as competing for primacy of attention and emphasis. The constructive results have fully justified the single-objective course pursued.
The leadership of this movement, the Ministerial Association, and this journal all stand for the health message, for lay evangelism, for youth evangelism, for educational evangelism, and for every other integral part of this full-rounded message and movement. But the hour had come to put evangelism as an all-inclusive principle first in all our thinking and planning. There is a compelling conviction that the hour has come for us to stand stanchly behind capable and well-trained men, as they enter the great cities of earth to hold aloft the banner of evangelism.
And now all related features will move forward in unison when our basic purpose is clear and foremost. That is the why of the emphasis of the Evangelistic Council.
L. E. F.
DAYBREAK FOR The Bible Work
The longings and the prayers of godly Bible workers—and of workers in all branches of service—have for years been lifted in behalf of a revival of the Bible work, and of real development of its latent possibilities. Those prayers and hopes are now in process of fulfillment. The rising tide of evangelistic emphasis and planning reached a crest at the recent General Conference Evangelistic Council, and embraced in the provisions made, that very development, and included the appointment of an experienced Bible worker-teacher to foster the clear objective outlined. The action reads as follows :
"We recommend, That one of the members of the Ministerial Association secretarial staff be a qualified, experienced Bible worker, appointed as an assistant secretary whose duties shall include fostering the Bible work in the field and in our training schools, assisting in institute work, aiding in the, development of an advanced Bible workers' course in the Theological Seminary, and collaborating itt the preparation of a Bible Workers' Manual,"
The relationship of our colleges to this greater training of potential Bible workers, and the field's utilization of the product of the schools, is thus expressed:
"In view of our depleted corps of Bible workers throughout the field ;
"We recommend, 12. a. That our colleges be urged definitely to strengthen the courses for Bible workers, and to encourage more of our strong young women to train for this needy branch of service, under instructors with successful field experience in soul-winning endeavor.
"b. That our conferences seek to strengthen their evangelistic efforts by using the trained product of our schools, and also by developing promising recruits from the churches."
These are our ideals, our objectives, our aspirations. They beckon us on to achievement. The path is yet before us, but the secretary has been appointed—Miss Louise C. Kleuser, of New York City, who will connect with the Association about September i. Meantime, there will be planning, consultation, and outlining of the course to be pursued. In due time, this will be presented in these columns. And Miss Kleuser's messages will become a familiar feature of these pages.
The task is both vast and challenging. To succeed, it must go forward in full co-operative relationship with our conference leadership, having the moral support of our ministerial worker body and the sympathetic effort of our colleges. All will be beneficiaries. Sometimes we may have to go more slowly than some might desire, for we must all go along together. But the expansion of our Bible work will soon be under way, and we will be conferring shortly with many of our Bible workers of experience. This is the daybreak for the Bible work. So, be of good courage !
L. E. F.
The United States in Every Inspired Prophecy
evangelistic worker engaged in proclaiming the third angel's message is bound before God to declare to men the specifications of that message. This clearly involves identification both of the beast and of the image of the beast, and of the declaration concerning the mark. He who is silent concerning these fundamental specifications of his distinctive commission is either befuddled as to his message, or recreant to his bounden duty in accepting credentials from the advent movement, prophetically depicted by the third angel.
He who accepts as authoritative the interpretations of the Spirit of prophecy, must just as truly accept the interpretation of the second symbol—the two-horned beast from the earth—as applying to the Protestant democracy of the United States, as accept the fact that the first, or ten-horned, beast from the sea symbolizes the Papacy of the Old World. He who remains silent on this subject upon which the Spirit of prophecy is so explicit and really voluminous, needs to examine himself to see if he be fully in the faith. There should be no confusion here.
On the other hand, some most unwise and uncalled-for statements have sometimes been made in presenting the United States in prophecy. The final, regrettable aspect of the prophecy has not yet been entered upon. The founding principles of freedom of religion are still tenaciously adhered to by the nation and its Chief Executive—so much so that the Government would seemingly face war rather than relinquish that fundamental right of all men, or see it perish from the earth. This should be clearly recognized and duly stressed.
In presenting both symbols of Revelation 13, we should do so in love, and with courtesy, care, and gratitude. We are not called upon to insult God's children still in Catholicism or in nominal Protestantism. And especially should we be considerate and appreciative in dealing with the world's outstanding champion of democracy and religious liberty. Its future course should be declared with sorrow and told with regret. Great care and wisdom should characterize our presentation.
We should, moreover, be doubly careful of our words when world conditions are so tense, when relations between nations are so delicate as they are at present, and when phrases or expressions which at other times would not be misunderstood may be subjected to hostile interpretation and criticism. We should be faithful and yet tactful, true and yet inoffensive, so far as in us lies.
L. E. F.